Hey kids! Getting things back in order after spending the last few days doing very little that resembled work — the gig went fine, the tubing trip was awesome and the mountain biking kicked ass, thanks for asking. A few articles popped over the break that are worth a quick look in the rearview mirror before we move on:
- First, The Observer turns its binoculars across the pond to gaze upon the spectacle that is online video in the American presidential process. Josh is right that the piece frames the issues with some false dichotomies, of the “Sign of the Apocalypse, or just a humble stain remover?” variety, but it has some good quotes and is joined by a nice top-ten presidential videos compilation. Who can forget Rudy in a dress?
- Next, getting into the nuts and bolts of electronic politics, the Post lifts up the hood on the Romney machine to find the candidate’s data cruncher, an expert at political microtargeting. The article is goes into a great deal of detail about how microtargeting works, but is also careful to note that question exists as to whether the tactic is revolutionary or just “putting a very fine point on the obvious.” Bonus art history metaphor: “If television advertising is painting with broad brush strokes, microtargeting is political pointillism.” Thanks for the tip, Dad.
- Moving from one kind of scary to another, Three Worked the Web to Help Terrorists: British Case Reveals How Stolen Credit Card Data Bought Supplies for Operatives. Using email scams to steal credit cards and online poker sites to launder money is apparently the the new face of jihad.
- Don’t worry, the web may save us before it destroys us, as Brazilian tribes plan to use Google Earth to monitor Amazon rainforests for illegal logging and protect their way of life in the process. Critical choice: Internet first, or running water? For more from the Amazon, see Defending the Hidden Tribes. For more unexpected uses of Google Earth, take a look at this new Chinese ballistic missile submarine, coming soon to an ocean near you.
- Finally, let’s glance at a U.S. News and World Report article that manages to contradict its own title. Though called “The Internet: It’s a potent new tool, but no one’s sure how to use it,” it promptly turns around and demonstrates that campaigns sure as hell SOUND like they know how to use the web: “Even Richardson, who lags far behind in polls, has outpaced Dean’s 2004 high-water marks for online supporters and fundraising.”
That should keep you guys busy while I go turn up the A/C — welcome to summer.